Suspected Manchester suicide bomber identified

Police evacuate the Arndale shopping centre, in Manchester, England Tuesday May 23, 2017, the day after an apparent suicide bomber attacked an Ariana Grande concert as it ended Monday night, killing over a dozen of people among a panicked crowd of young concertgoers. (AP Photo/Rui Vieira)

MANCHESTER, England (AP) – The Latest on the blast at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England (all times local):

5:30 p.m. – The chiefs of Italy’s police and intelligence forces, along with a British security official, have met to review anti-terrorism measures in light of the Manchester bomb blast, which occurred four days ahead of a G-7 summit in Sicily.

Interior Minister Marco Minniti led the huddle Tuesday at his ministry, with a Rome-based British security official among the participants.

The ministry says Italy’s level of threat for terrorism hasn’t changed after the concert bombing in England Monday night. But it said already-heightened security will be further strengthened to protect high-risk targets and places where crowds of people gather.

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5:20 p.m. – Official records show that Salman Abedi was registered as living at the Manchester house raided by armed police investigating Monday night’s deadly concert blast.

The electoral register shows that 22-year-old Abedi – confirmed by British police as the suspect in the suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert – lived at the house in Fallowfield in southern Manchester where police carried out a controlled explosion Tuesday.

Alan Kinsey, 52, who lives across the street from the raided house, filmed at least 20 heavily armed police in helmets and armor march down the street, surround the house and blast down the door before entering.

He said he didn’t see anyone but police leave the house.

He said a man in his 20s, whose name he didn’t know, lived there. In the past there had been other residents but for the last six months or more he had just seen the man.

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5 p.m. – Ariana Grande’s tour has not been canceled or postponed despite reports online, a person close to the situation, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the person was not allowed to publicly talk about the topic, said.

The person said that Grande and her team are more focused on the victims at the moment, not the tour.

It was unclear if Grande’s next schedule show – Thursday in London – would take place.

-By Mesfin Fekadu

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4:40 p.m. – Concert promoters at London’s O2 Arena, where Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform Thursday and Friday, say they are in contact with the singer’s team about her next steps.

“We are shocked and deeply saddened by the terrible tragedy in Manchester. Our thoughts and prayers are with those affected and their families,” the arena said in a statement. “We are in contact with the promoters of Ariana Grande’s tour and will update as soon as we have further information regarding the planned dates at The O2.”

Grande has yet to tell fans whether she will continue her European tour following the deadly blast at her concert in Manchester.

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4:35 p.m. – Officials in the United States say British authorities have identified the suspect in the Manchester suicide bombing attack as Salman Abedi.

A U.S. official confirmed the identity Tuesday to The Associated Press. No additional details were immediately available.

The bombing Monday night at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester killed 22 people and sparked a stampede of young concertgoers.

The Islamic State claimed responsibility, but Dan Coats, the U.S. director of intelligence, says that connection has not yet been verified.

-By Eileen Putman

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4:25 p.m. – The house where British police performed a controlled explosion as part of their investigation into the concert blast in Manchester is in an ethnically mixed suburb in the city.

Police raided a modest red brick semi-detached house in Fallowfield in south Manchester on Tuesday, and forensics officers were coming and going into the house. Neighbors said they had heard the bomber lived there, but most said they knew little about the inhabitants of the house, except that several people lived in it.

Neighbor Natalie Daley said she was frightened by a loud bang on Tuesday afternoon, then police yelling “get in your houses – get away from the windows!”

She said she was shaken by how close to home it was. She said: “When it’s like two seconds from your house, when you walk past it every day, you do live in fear.”

Police on Tuesday also raided another residential road, and arrested a 23-year-old man at a third location in Manchester.

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BC-US–APNewsAlert
US officials: British authorities have identified suspected Manchester suicide bomber as Salman Abedi

WASHINGTON (AP) – US officials: British authorities have identified suspected Manchester suicide bomber as Salman Abedi.

4 p.m. – Britain’s queen has marked a moment of silence to honor the victims of the Manchester suicide bombing.

Accompanied by her husband Prince Philip, her son Prince Charles and his wife Camilla, the queen stood at the top of the steps leading down from Buckingham Palace into the grounds. The national anthem was then played.

The queen was attending a garden party in the grounds of her palace Tuesday afternoon.

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3:55 p.m. – The band Take That has canceled their Tuesday night concert in Liverpool “out of respect” for the victims of the attack in Manchester.

“Out of respect to all of the people and their families that were affected by the horrific incident last night at The Manchester Arena, we have decided to postpone our show tonight in Liverpool. Our thoughts and prayers are with you all,” the band said in a statement.

The band, which formed in Manchester, has had the hits “Back for Good,” ”Patience,” ”Never Forget,” ”Pray” and “Shine.” Take That played the Echo Arena in Liverpool on Monday and sold out for Tuesday night. They are scheduled to play the Manchester Arena from May 25-27.

3:40 p.m. – Poland’s Foreign Ministry says Poles are missing in Manchester following the concert suicide attack, but does not say how many.

The ministry said on Twitter Tuesday that Polish consuls in Manchester are in “constant touch with the families of Polish citizens missing” in Manchester and have extended support to them.

Many Poles live, work and study in Britain.

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3:35 p.m. – British police say they have raided two residential areas in Manchester and carried out a controlled explosion at one of them as part of an investigation into Monday’s suicide bombing attack at a concert in the city.

At one of the scenes, where armed police raided an apartment Tuesday, heavily armed and helmeted police were guarding what neighbor Asghar Ali said was a “very, very quiet” area. Ali said: “Even if people throw rubbish outside, people complain – never mind this.”

Plain-clothes officers wearing gloves removed bags from an apartment.

The leafy residential road in south Manchester, populated by a group of tidy-looking buildings, is less than a mile from the supermarket where police reportedly arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.

Neighbors said the complex of three buildings was a mixed area of students, singles and families, with a large south Asian population.

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3:15 p.m. – The rapper BIA, who opened for Ariana Grande at Monday’s concert in Manchester, says her heart is “broken.”

“My heart is heavy today as I extend my prayers to the children and families affected by last night’s horrible tragedy in Manchester,” the artist says in a statement.

“We are sending our love to all of Manchester during this incredibly difficult time. We ask each one of you to join us in keeping all who are suffering in your thoughts and prayers.”

BIA, whose real name is Bianca Landrau, was, along with Victoria Monet, part of Grande’s support act for her “Dangerous Woman Tour.”

On Twitter, Monet wrote: “I wish I could say that I am OK, but I am not. Safe? Yes, but heartbroken that loved ones who came to have the night of their lives ended up losing them.”

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3:05 p.m. – The United States’ top intelligence official says the U.S. government has not yet verified that the Islamic State group is responsible for the Manchester attack.

Dan Coats, the director of national intelligence, told Congress that the extremist group frequently claims responsibility for terror attacks.

The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bomb in crowds in the suicide attack at an Ariana Grande show Monday night that left 22 people dead. The group warned in a statement on social media that more attacks are to come.

Testifying Tuesday before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Coats says though he was aware of the IS claim of responsibility, U.S. authorities hadn’t yet verified that.

He says the Manchester attack is a reminder the terrorist threat is real. He says, “It’s not going away and it needs significant attention.”

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2:50 p.m. – Pop group Take That says it is canceling its show in Liverpool, northern England a day after the deadly bomb attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

The band says it is postponing the performance “out of respect to all of the people and their families that were affected by the horrific incident last night.”

The band was scheduled to play at Manchester Arena, the site of Monday’s attack, from Thursday to Saturday. Their representatives say there is no official word yet on whether those shows will go ahead.

Police say the attack killed 22 people and injured 59, including many teenagers.

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1:55 p.m. – British authorities say an 8-year-old girl, Saffie Roussos, was among the 22 people killed in the Manchester bombing. And an ambulance official says 12 children under the age of 16 were among 59 injured in the attack as people left a pop concert.

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1:30 p.m. – German Chancellor Angela Merkel and her conservative ally in Bavaria have called off a pre-election event at a beer tent in Munich following the Manchester attack.

Merkel and Bavarian governor Horst Seehofer had planned to make a joint appearance on Tuesday evening. But Seehofer’s Christian Social Union party said the event was postponed out of “respect for the victims” of the attack on an Ariana Grande concert in England.

The event was scheduled as the pair display rediscovered unity after they fell out over Merkel’s welcoming approach to refugees in 2015. Germany holds a general election in September.

Police in Manchester say a lone bomber with an improvised device died in the attack. The Islamic State group has claimed responsibility and that several bombs were involved.

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1:25 p.m. – Pope Francis has expressed profound dismay over the “barbaric” attack at a concert in Manchester, England.

A condolence telegram sent in his name says he was “mindful in a particular way” of the many children and young people who perished, as well as their grieving families. He prayed for “God’s blessings of peace, healing and strength” upon Britain.

The telegram said Francis expressed “heartfelt solidarity with all those affected by this senseless act of violence” and commended the “generous efforts” of emergency and security personnel.

Authorities in Manchester say the bomber was killed in blast. The Islamic State group has claimed one of its “soldiers” was responsible.

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12:55 p.m. – The Islamic State group says one of its members planted bombs in the middle of crowds in Manchester, England, where 22 people died in an explosion.

Police, however, have spoken only of “an improvised device” used in the attack.

IS says “a soldier of the caliphate planted bombs in the middle of Crusaders gatherings” then detonated them. It did not say whether the attacker was killed.

The group claimed that “30 Crusaders were killed and 70 others were wounded,” higher than the totals confirmed by authorities in Manchester.

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12:45 p.m. – A school in northern England has identified one of the victims in the Manchester concert bombing as Georgina Callander, a former pupil.

Peter Rawlinson, deputy of the Bishop Rawstorne Church of England Academy in Croston, northwest of Manchester, told The Associated Press that the school confirmed Callander’s death with members of her family.

Rawlinson says “she was academically a very gifted student, very hard-working. Just lovely to speak to.”

The school posted a photo of Georgina on its website, smiling and look smart in her school uniform. It said she died of injuries from the attack and described her as “a lovely young student who was very popular with her peers and the staff.”

12:35 p.m. – U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson says the U.S. is working closely with the British government as it investigates the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Tillerson released a statement Tuesday saying that “our hearts go out to the families of those who have lost loved ones and to those injured in the attack.”

He says: “While it is too early to determine those responsible for this atrocity, we are working closely with the British government and supporting their efforts to investigate and respond to this attack.”

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12:25 p.m. – Queen Elizabeth II has expressed her “deepest sympathy” to all those affected by Monday’s bomb attack at a Manchester pop concert, where 22 people were killed.

In a statement issued Tuesday, the monarch said “the whole nation has been shocked by the death and injury”.

She thanked police and the emergency services, and expressed admiration for the way the people of Manchester have responded to the attack: “With humanity and compassion to this act of barbarity.”

Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack. Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the attack.

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12:01 p.m. – Greater Manchester Police say they have arrested a 23-year-old man in connection with the apparent suicide bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in the city.

Police say the man was arrested in south Manchester Tuesday, a day after the explosion killed 22 people and injured 59, many of them teenagers.

They did not provide details.

Police also said officials arrested a man at the Arndale shopping center in central Manchester – but that the arrest is not believed to be connected to Monday night’s attack.

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11:50 a.m. – Italian Premier Paolo Gentiloni says efforts are underway so that this week’s G-7 summit in Sicily will yield a stronger, common anti-terrorism commitment.

Condemning the bombing that killed 22 people in Manchester, England, Gentiloni told reporters Tuesday in Rome that the summit on Friday and Saturday provides the opportunity to insist that “the cowardliness that snuffs out the lives of young people won’t get the better of our freedom.”

He said Italians can count on the “dedication and professionalism” of their nation’s security forces to ensure international events are carried out safely.

He says he planned to call British Prime Minister Theresa May to express “closeness, solidarity” to Britons.

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11:45 a.m. – Police have evacuated a large shopping center in Manchester, England. Police declined to comment on media reports that they have arrested a man there.

July McKenzie, who was shopping when the Arndale shopping center, said: “We were just in the shop and could hear people screaming and security guards telling everybody to get out.”

Some people left the scene in tears, while others waited outside the mall.

The Arndale center was rebuilt after an IRA bombing in 1996.

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11:35 a.m. – Turkish officials say they “strongly condemn” the attack in Manchester and promised to work together with the United Kingdom against terror. President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says that Turkey “shares the pain of the state of England and the English people” in the attack that killed 22 people.

Turkey has been hit by a string of attacks blamed on the Islamic State group and Kurdish militants since 2015, killing at least 550 people.

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11:15 a.m. – British Prime Minister Theresa May says that it is “beyond doubt” that Britain and the city of Manchester have fallen victim to “a callous terrorist attack.”

Speaking outside her offices in London, she says “Although it is not the first time Manchester has suffered in this way, it is the worst attack the city has experienced, and the worst ever to hit the north of England.”

May says police believe they know the attacker’s identity but are not disclosing it immediately.

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11:10 a.m. – British Prime Minister Theresa May says police and security staff in Manchester believe they know identity of the apparent suicide bomber who attacked people leaving an Ariana Grande concert Monday night, but they are not revealing the name for the time being.

Speaking in London, May said: “This attack stands out for its appalling, sickening cowardice.”

She says the attack, in which 22 people died, was one of the worst the nation had suffered.

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11:00 a.m. – Harun Khan, the secretary general of the Muslim Council of Britain, has joined the condemnations of the Manchester attack.

In a statement, Khan says: “This is horrific, this is criminal. May the perpetrators face the full weight of justice both in this life and the next.”

He adds: “I urge all those in the region and around the country to pool together to support those affected.”

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10:55 a.m. – Finance ministers from the 28 European Union countries, including Britain’s Philip Hammond, observed a minute’s silence in memory of those killed and injured in the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Ahead of the regular EU meeting of finance ministers, Hammond expressed his condolences to the victims and their families of “this barbaric attack” in Manchester.

“It is, as far as we know, a terrorist incident,” he said. “We are treating it as such.”

Hammond, who was due to speak at a panel in Brussels, is to return to London at the meeting’s conclusion instead.

Flags are also flying at half-staff outside the European Commission in the heart of the Belgian capital.

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10:40 a.m. – France’s interior minister says the government will be issuing instructions Tuesday to regional administrators on working with event organizers on how to secure public spaces.

After a high-level security meeting in Paris Tuesday, Interior Minister Gerard Collomb said organizers of sports events, concerts and other performances already had a series of instructions on how to secure their venues. Collomb said France’s airports have also been secured.

France has been on heightened alert since the Nov. 13, 2015, attacks that struck a concert, the national stadium and cafes and bars.

Early Tuesday, the Paris mayor’s office said all shows and concerts scheduled in coming days are going ahead as planned. Ariana Grande is scheduled to perform in Paris on June 7.

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10:30 a.m. – President Vladimir Putin says Russia is ready to boost anti-terror cooperation with Britain in the wake of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England.

In Tuesday’s telegram to British Prime Minister Theresa May, Putin offered condolences over what he called a “cynical, inhuman crime” and wishes for a quick recovery of all those hurt.

Putin reaffirmed Russia’s readiness to “expand anti-terror cooperation with British partners, both on bilateral level and within the framework of broad international efforts.”

Britain and other NATO allies have cut cooperation with Moscow on fighting terrorism over Russia’s annexation of Ukraine’s Crimean Peninsula and support for a pro-Russia insurgency in eastern Ukraine.

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an explosive device at the end of the concert, killing 22 people.

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10:15 a.m. – Former Manchester United soccer star David Beckham posted on Facebook: “As a father & a human what has happened truly saddens me. My thoughts are with all of those that have been affected by this tragedy.”

In targeting Manchester, the attacker struck at one of Britain’s cultural hearts. The once gritty industrial city, with London and Liverpool, has been one of the main cultural influences on modern Britain, with its iconic Manchester United football team, its cross-city rival City and chart-toppers Oasis, The Smiths and other globally famous bands. Oasis singer Liam Gallagher tweeted that he is “in total shock and absolutely devastated.”

Peter Hook of Manchester bands New Order and Joy Division tweeted that his daughter “made it home safe” from the Ariana Grande concert and added: My heart goes out to all parents & those involved. Manchester stay strong.”

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10:05 a.m.

Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas has denounced the “ugly terrorist attack” in Manchester, speaking after a West Bank meeting with President Donald Trump. Abbas says he is sending his condolences to the British prime minister, the British people and the families of the victims.

Both Trump and the Palestinian leader opened their remarks with a condemnation of the attack in which 22 people were killed by a bomb blast during a concert in the city in northern England.

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9:15 a.m. – President Donald Trump is expressing solidarity with the United Kingdom in the wake of a deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, condemning the “evil losers” behind the blast.

Trump spoke Tuesday after a meeting in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas (mahk-MOOD’ ah-BAHS’).

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device at the end of the concert, killing 22 people.

Trump says the attack preyed on “innocent children.” He says this “wicked ideology must be obliterated. And I mean completely obliterated.”

Manchester police so far have said nothing about the attacker’s identity or possible motivation.

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9:00 a.m.

Social media users are helping the desperate hunt for people missing in the Manchester concert bombing by circulating names and photos with the MissingInManchester hashtag.

The city’s regional government and its mayor, Andy Burnham, were among scores of Twitter users that circulated the hashtag to help people seeking missing family members and friends.

Those named as missing included Olivia Campbell. Her mother, Charlotte Campbell, said the 15-year-old attended the Ariana Grande concert with a friend from school who has since been found and is being treated in a hospital. But Olivia is missing, having last called home just before the concert, the mother told ITV television’s Good Morning Britain breakfast show.

She says: “I’ve called the hospitals. I’ve called all the places, the hotels where people said that children have been taken and I’ve called the police. If anyone sees Olivia, lend her your phone, she knows my number.”

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8:45 a.m.

A Czech woman who was at the Ariana Grande concert in Manchester says that “there was almost no security check, rather zero. They let us get in without any check if we have anything with us.”

Nikola Trochtova told the Czech public radio that “the only thing they were interested in was if we had any bottles of water with us. They almost didn’t check our bags, they didn’t take a look.”

She says she was leaving the venue when she heard an explosion at the entrance, but learned the details only after returning to her hotel.

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8:35 a.m.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel says it’s “incomprehensible” that someone would target a pop concert to kill and wound people.

Merkel said in a statement Tuesday that the attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester “will only strengthen our determination to keep acting together with our British friends against those who plan and carry out such inhuman deeds.”

She added: “I assure people in Britain that Germany stands beside you.”

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8:20 a.m.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker says Europe is mourning with Britain after a bomb killed 22 people at a concert in Manchester.

Juncker said in a statement Tuesday that “today we mourn with you. Tomorrow we will work side by side with you to fight back against those who seek to destroy our way of life.”

He adds: “It breaks my heart to think that, once again, terrorism has sought to instill fear where there should be joy, to sow division where young people and families should be coming together in celebration.”

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8:10 a.m.

NATO’s chief is expressing solidarity with Britain after a bomb attack in Manchester killed 22 people, just as leaders of the military alliance prepare to meet to discuss counter-terrorism.

Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg said in a tweet Tuesday that “NATO stands with the U.K. in the fight against terrorism.” He also said his thoughts were with all those affect by the “barbaric” attack.

President Donald Trump and other NATO leaders at to gather in Brussels on Thursday to discuss ways the military alliance can do more against terrorism.

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8:00 a.m.

The German government is offering condolences to Britain after the deadly explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester.

Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel wrote Tuesday on Twitter: “Terrible news from Manchester! Our thoughts are now with our British friends. United we stand.”

Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, tweeted: “Our thoughts (and) prayers are with the people in #Manchester affected by the blast. We mourn for the dead (and) hope the injured can recover fully.”

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7:45 a.m.

France’s government is offering sympathy and solidarity following the bombing at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester which killed 22 people.

In a statement, French President Emmanuel Macron said France would continue to work with Britain to fight terrorism. Macron said he would speak with British Prime Minister Theresa May to stay abreast of developments.

Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo also expressed solidarity.

Paris has grim experience with the type of attack that struck Britain, after multiple Islamic State attackers struck a concert hall, the national stadium and cafes and bars on Nov. 13, 2015, killing 130 people.

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7:30 a.m.

The White House says President Donald Trump is being provided updates on the Manchester concert explosion by his national security team.

Trump is in the midst of his first overseas trip as president. He’s meeting Tuesday in Bethlehem with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas and speaking at Yad Vashem, the Holocaust memorial in Jerusalem.

His spokesman Sean Spicer provided the update on Twitter.

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7:20 a.m.

Manchester police say an apparent suicide bomber set off an improvised explosive device at the end of an Ariana Grande concert.

Police raised the death toll to 22 early Tuesday, and dozens more have been reported injured.

Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says forensic investigations are continuing to determine if the attacker had accomplices. He provided no information about the individual who detonated the device.

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7:10 a.m.

Greater Manchester Police have raised the death toll in a blast at an Ariana Grande concert to 22.

The force’s chief constable, Ian Hopkins, said Tuesday they believe one person carried out the attack. Police are trying to determine if the person acted alone or had support in the Monday night blast.

Police say some 400 officers were deployed overnight to help with the investigation.

Officials say children are among the victims.

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7 a.m.

Police say they are treating an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert in northern England as terrorism. Greater Manchester Police says the blast killed at least 19 people, and the ambulance service says 59 people have been taken to hospitals.

Greater Manchester Police Chief Constable Ian Hopkins says police are treating the blast as an act of terrorism “until we know otherwise.”

There was panic after the explosion, which struck around 10:30 p.m. (2130 GMT) Monday night as Grande was ending the concert.

Grande, who was not injured, tweeted hours later: “Broken. From the bottom of my heart, I am so so sorry. I don’t have words.”

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6 a.m.

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn says he and Prime Minister Theresa May have agreed to suspend election campaigning until further notice.

Corbyn said Tuesday he is “horrified” by the events in Manchester and that his thoughts are with the families and friends of those who have died and been injured.

Campaign events ahead of the June 8 general election will now be put on hold as Britain comes to grips with the incident and its aftermath.

Corbyn says he had spoken with May after the explosion.

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5:45 a.m.

Australia’s prime minister has told the Australian Parliament that the deadly explosion at Manchester Arena appeared to be a “brutal attack on young people everywhere.”

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the British were treating the blast that killed at least 19 people and injured more than 50 as a terrorist attack, although its cause was unknown.

Turnbull says: “This incident, this attack, is especially vile, especially criminal, especially horrific because it appears to have been deliberately directed at teenagers.”

In Tokyo, a spokesman for the Japanese government condemned the attack.

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4 a.m.

Campaigning has been suspended in Britain’s national election after a deadly explosion at Manchester Arena.

Prime Minister Theresa May canceled campaign events Tuesday after the blast, which killed at least 19 people and injured more than 50. She is due to chair a meeting of the government’s emergency committee, COBRA, later.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron canceled a campaign tour to Gibraltar after the explosion.

Britons are due to go to the polls on June 8.

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3:45 a.m.

A number of Manchester taxi services offered free rides to people stranded by the incident.

The taxi companies posted messages about the free rides on Twitter after an explosion at Manchester Arena after an Ariana Grande concert Monday night. The blast killed 19 people and injured dozens more.

The service could also be used by people trying to get to local hospitals to look for loved ones.

In addition some city residents opened their homes to provide overnight lodging for people who were stranded by the shutdown in some train services because of the incident.

City officials said the true spirit of Manchester was surfacing in the hours after the incident.

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3:35 a.m. – The Department of Homeland Security says there is no evidence of credible threats against music venues in the U.S., as England reels from an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert late Monday.

The department says the U.S. public may experience increased security in and around public places and events.

DHS says it is closely monitoring the situation at Manchester Arena and working with U.K. officials to obtain additional information about the cause of the explosion.

The government is urging U.S. citizens in Manchester to heed directions from local authorities and be vigilant about their security.

The explosion killed at least 19 people and injured dozens. Police say they are treating as a terrorist attack.

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3:20 a.m. – Frantic loved ones of young people missing after an explosion at an Ariana Grande concert have taken to Twitter and Instagram with their photos and pleas for help.

Many Manchester residents responded early Tuesday with offers of shelter and details on locations where displaced concert-goers had been taken in.

The 23-year-old Grande, true to her youthful fan base, is a social media phenomenon with 105 million followers on Instagram and 45.6 million followers on Twitter. Her fans, proud “Arianators,” were among those who took to Twitter with prayers and tears.

Fellow stars offered condolences as well.

Taylor Swift tweeted, “My thoughts, prayers and tears for all those affected by the Manchester tragedy tonight. I’m sending all my love.”

Ellie Goulding, Cher (fresh from a big night at the Billboard Awards) and Katy Perry were among others to tweet their support.

 

 

 

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